Expert advice on writing faster blog posts

I know I am a good writer. Now, I aspire to be a faster writer!  Is that possible?

There are plenty of bloggers who claim they can write 20-minute blog posts.  Are they delirious?

While following 30 Days of Getting Results the Agile Way, a free online course offered by Microsoft manager J. D. Meier, 20-minute blog posts were offered as an example of setting boundaries.  I respect J. D. and know he’s not delirious so I asked him, “Is it really possible to write 20-minute blog posts?”

Lessons from J. D. Meier on writing faster blog posts

J. D. says you can write an excellent blog post in 20 minutes.  This is his advice in a nutshell with my added commentary.

1.  The key is to get clarity on one specific problem you want to solve. J. D. focuses each post on sharing one useful nugget that solves a problem, answers a question, makes you feel, or makes you laugh.

Having expert knowledge at your fingertips clearly makes it possible to write more quickly.  Without expertise, posts will take longer.  Therefore, it makes sense to focus on topics you have already mastered, at least part of the time.  Take a minute to review your previous posts to see if they have one focus or whether they meander.  If you are a wanderer, try practicing one focus per blog article.

2. Write with might. The faster you go, the more you will flow, unleash, and surprise yourself.

This is excellent advice for improving both speed and quality of writing.  Write for 20 minutes straight without stopping to review, edit, or make corrections.  If you find writing for a full 20 minutes too challenging, start by experimenting with 5-minute free flow sessions. Use this approach for every draft and see if you can pick up speed over time.

3. Use a plain text editor.

J. D. has taught many people on his team  to write quickly and not let tools or their inner-critic get in the way.  His team members have been surprised by how much faster they write in a plain text editor.

4. Another approach is to aim for 20-minute blog posts progressively by shaving off 10 minutes each time you write a post.

If the idea of a 20-minute blog post is too intimidating, a gradual approach like this might be an effective alternative for you.

5. Each post is an opportunity to practice.

Speed increases with practice.  Professional bloggers often advise writing 1,000 words or more each and every day as a means to improving both speed and quality.  It takes practice to perfect any skill.  This doesn’t mean publishing every word that you write, but practicing daily to get better.

6. Capture your main ideas when they flow, scribble them quickly into a plain text editor or a notebook if you are on the go, and then let them percolate.  Go back to an idea when you are in the “zone” and flesh it out.

Speed and quality will always be best when you are in the “zone.”  Do you know your optimal times for writing?  Do you have methods for getting into the “zone”?  Do you write when you are inspired or do you push yourself to soldier on?

7. Finish with a quick pass. When you are done writing your draft in a plain text editor, paste it into your favorite editor or your blog editor, and then make a quick pass to sweep your writing, add links, and tune it up.

Simply being aware of efficiency can help you to find shortcuts for all the steps involved in fine-tuning your first draft as well.

The caveat

Almost everyone agrees that it’s realistic to aim for a 20-30 minute first draft.  Those who have perfected the prowess like Jim Estil are able to write 400-500 word blog posts in 20 minutes.  J. D. outshines them all with his capacity to write even longer posts in 20 minutes.

Here’s the caveat: most bloggers find that it’s the additional proofreading, editing, creating links, finding an image, and initial research that take up an extra meaty chunk of time.  However, by following and practicing J. D.’s tips, you will be able to reduce the amount of time it takes to write a good first draft.  Chances are, you will also find the process more enjoyable.

Reality check with Jon Morrow and James Chartrand

Remember, we are all different. Don’t be disheartened if it takes you longer to write a blog post.

In an article on getting more blog traffic by writing less, Jon Morrow from Copyblogger says,

“Some writers are faster than others, but in general, if you’re spending less than two hours on most of your posts, you’re probably going too fast. Cut back the quantity, and focus on quality.”  The 1200-word article that contains this quote, took Jon four hours to write and he said “…that’s pretty fast for me.”

In a comment on Jon Morrow’s article, James Chartrand from Men With Pens says,

“I can write about 500 words in 15 minutes, and it can be good enough to go without an edit.  That said, good enough is relevant to where it’s being posted and for what reason. “How to make peanut butter” $5 content mills? You betcha. A leading blog with 100k readers? Truly great blog posts take me a minimum of 2 hours and often around 4, when all the editing, reading aloud, double-checking and extra stuff is factored in.”

Not all of us will win the Olympic medal for the fastest blog post, but we can all improve.  Here’s my strategy.

My strategy for writing faster blog posts

My question to J. D. arose from his advice on “Sloughing Off” from 30 Days of Getting Results the Agile Way. He says, “letting things slough off simply means either letting things go from your plate either by design or as a natural process of focusing on higher priorities.” He goes on to explain that this involves creating boundaries and then letting go. Boundaries can be determined by quantity or time.

To achieve my goal of writing faster, I decided to use J. D.’s advice on setting boundaries in addition to practicing his writing tips.  I am limiting the total amount of time I spend on blogging each weekday and also keeping an eye on word count.  Limiting word count is a great way to reign in a tendency to be wordy or complicated – and your posts will automatically take less time.

J. D.’s tips are helping me to write more efficiently and more effectively.  This is freeing up time for other high priority activities—blog related and otherwise—without sacrificing quality.  It’s also a great way to avoid writing fatigue and instead keep the joy flowing.  Many thanks to J. D. Meier.

I’m curious: How long does it take for you to write a first draft?  A complete a post?  I would love to hear your advice on writing faster, please share.

If you liked this article, please share the link.  Thanks so much!  Sandra

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Comments

  1. says

    Wow — now that really lights up the fine points!

    First, let me say that you have a great ability to share and distill insight, as well as elaborate and tease out some beautiful points. Not everybody can light things up and you’ve got the gift of wonderful prose.

    I’m really glad to hear that you’re making progress on writing more efficiently and effectively. The gains you make in efficiency and effectiveness here, pay off in other places too. I was surprised how the confidence and self-assurance I built from working out with weights, spilled over into so many other places.

    One thing that always helps me focus is — flowing value. Just like energy is the force multiplier — given the same time, but more energy, you get more results … value is the force multipler in writing. It’s not the number of words, but the impact they make.

    One additional point I always keep in mind is this … we all have to innovate in our personal processes. By innovating in our processes it’s how we keep up or get ahead versus fall behind.

    • says

      J. D. I’m am truly honored by your complimentary words. Naturally, it really encourages me to get positive feedback so thank you very much. Writing is my passion. I spent many years as a less than artful manager, but it turns out I’m far more in sync with writing. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a terrific mentor like you when I was a manager!

      Your observation about how the gains multiply is so accurate. I can definitely see how the gains spill over into other areas of life. I appreciate how your training program is so focused on flowing value and not getting caught up in the details. You are always showing how innovating our personal process can be fun and enjoyable too, which is one of the best parts in my eyes.

      Thanks so much for commenting.

  2. says

    Sign me up for a course that can teach me to write faster!!
    I”m slower than a turtle.
    I’m constantly revising and editing.
    It’s a very rare thing for me to write a post and publish it in the same day.
    Help!

    • says

      Angela,

      You are such a wonderful writer. Your care for the details definitely shines through! I hope some of the tips offered here will help you with your dilemma. And they always says that the turtle crosses the finish line first! :)

  3. says

    Hi Sandra Lee, this is timely. I’m trying to manage my time better, and it often takes me 4 hours to write a blog post. One of the reasons is that I’m trying to write less but with greater impact, so I get bogged down with editing. Loved the post. Talk soon, Simon.

    • says

      Simon, So glad this post was timely for you. I too am trying to manage my time more efficiently and some of the tips from JD have really helped me in that regard. Good luck with your process, hope you find the efficiency you are seeking. Thanks for the positive feedback.

  4. says

    You know, it really depends. Sometimes, the write/right vibe is flowing and the post comes more naturally. Other times, I find myself trying to over-architect and that just becomes counter-productive. As with most things, I try to find the middle path here too.

    If I have organized what and how I want to say things in my head ahead of time, that helps me braindump in one sitting. But putting your writing down for a while and then revisiting it later is absolutely key to being your best critic and pushing yourself to write the best content. Sounds corny, but haste makes waste…

    Great post, Sandra. Many thanks for sharing the insight. Be well.

    • says

      Bill, I like the idea of the middle path! I agree that putting your writing down for awhile and then coming back to it is a great approach. I tend to write in three waves – the first wave is the inspiration, the second flushing it out, and the last is perfecting it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. says

    Your Comment Luv title sucked me straight in :)

    I can whip out a draft in about 15 minutes provided I take around five to think things through a bit first. That said, the revision process can take two hours or more, but that’s because I love writing so much. I like to move words around, add and subtract sentences, and tighten and tone the structure. My draft often feels like a big flabby piece of dough that needs to be punched down, kneaded, and molded before it’s ready to pop in the oven. I’m good with that though :)

    • says

      I’m with you Jean, I like writing so much I could fine tune and fine tune. You have such a lively writing style, I imagine it flowing continuously onto the page. It looks like we are all about on the same page in terms of how long it actually takes to complete a post!

  6. says

    Hi Sandra

    The most effective and proven way to overcome writer’s block is to just write. Write everything that comes to mind without stopping to correct mistakes or analyze the content. I can pump out a post is 5-10 minutes using this technique – the creative part is in the re-write and editing.

    Your thoughts?

    Michael

    • says

      Michael, It’s amazing that you can pump out a post in 5-10 minutes this way! When I’m very inspired I will grab whatever is nearby, like the back of an envelop, and go for it. I can capture quite a bit that way and quite quickly, but the next phases take longer! It’s hard for me to just write without stopping. That’s precisely what I want to practice!

  7. says

    I am much like Jean in that I initially write fast but then take more time in the editing process. If the original writing session takes more than an hour or so to compose I know I need to rethink the topic or come back at another time. It’s the passion and belief in the concept that allows me to zip through the first draft. If I am not zipping? It probably isn’t one of my better works.

    • says

      Welcome Emma,

      What a gorgeous site you have. It drew me right in! I look forward to reading more. Thanks for contributing your thoughts on the process of writing blog posts. You offer a good rule of thumb – the 1 hour guideline – to assess whether a post has juice! I really appreciate that you’ve taken the time to comment and add to the conversation. Thanks so much.

  8. says

    Hey Sandra,

    I wish I could write a post in 20 minutes. Haven’t get learned that skill so I need to bookmark this post :-)

    I do like to impose artificial deadlines on myself so that I have the adrenaline boost of knowing that I ‘have to write a post’ or otherwise I’ll lose readers. Most of the time it works :-) At other times, I get inspired and the words just flow out of me. If only that happened more often :-)

  9. says

    Hi Karen,

    I’m in the same boat, I can’t write first drafts in 20 minutes either. But I’m improving with practice. You give so much in your writing, I understand why it takes time to compose your blog posts! I think speed can vary with topic as well.

    Artificial deadlines are a wonderful skillful means to be employed. Thanks for sharing this idea with us. I’m sure you will flow more and more as time goes on. I really appreciate how meaningful your posts are; your blog is appropriately entitled!

  10. says

    Oh Sandra,
    You are enlightening me with this info.. phew! I can breathe a sigh of relief, cause up until now, I kept thinking I was the only one who took so long to write posts :) But I’m glad I have company :)
    I love to write,I love to help and motivate…so my writing usually steers in that direction. A lot of research goes into my posts…and to me that takes up most of the time. The research, editing, perfect image and then drafting. Writing the post on its own can take me 15-20 minutes….but its the before and after, that takes really long. Thats why, you see…i dont post all that often…just 1 or 2 posts per week. But I cant hit publish unless I am totally satisfied with it. You know I actually preview the post nearly 10 times before I hit publish!
    So in that sense this post is so so useful. I have to give some of your pointers a try :) Thank you fro sharing.
    Lots of love,
    Z~

    • says

      Z~ I’m delighted this information brought you such wonderful relief! You are not alone by any means. I’m just like you, I preview my posts a zillion times before I publish them too and all the fine tuning takes me eons. It was good to know that the big guys and gals like Jon and James also take time on important posts. At the same time, JD’s tips are definitely helping me be more focused and efficient.

      Lots of love right back!

  11. says

    Hi Sandra,

    Am like Jean. Can whip out posts in 15 minutes or so, as long as I know what I’m writing about. There have been instances when I have stared at the laptop screen for 15 minutes, decided I don’t know what to share and then, gone for a walk or spent time with my toddler to clear my head:-)
    Btw, am a new visitor and I love your style.

    • says

      Prerna,

      Welcome! That’s incredible. Congratulations on perfecting your writing speed so well.

      Thanks for your kinds words. I like the look of your site too and it looks like we have several things in common minus the children…I only have kittens!

      Thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment. All the best to you.

  12. says

    Hi Sandra,

    This is always a fun topic and you really touched on several important things.

    My posts vary greatly in length and it’s often difficult to determine how much time went into them. I’ve written 1200 word posts in 40 minutes and 500 word posts in 8 hours. The amount of time that goes into them is often determined by how “in the zone” I was when I wrote the initial draft and the strength and clarity of the story being told.

    Most of my blog posts start out as a single idea, thought, or quote. I’ll write one paragraph and then leave it for a few days until I’m ready to elaborate. Or I might have a story I want to tell and I’ll write down the main points and then wait until I have some reason to tell the story — a lesson or point I want to get across.

    Writing in a plaintext editor is huge and I cannot write in anything else. I also find it’s important to remember there are two modes of thinking involved in creating a blog post — defined by the way our brain works — and trying to mix those two modes is the best way to slow us down.

    One mode is creative (story telling) and the other is analytical (editing, proofing, etc.). When I’m writing, I always try to start in the creative mode and not worry about editing. As a perfectionist, this is extremely difficult but I’ve discovered that focusing on one paragraph at a time works for me. I work on one paragraph and then rearrange the paragraphs afterwards.

    Sometimes I will write the last paragraph of the blog post first, then work on the first paragraph, then slowly work towards the middle from both ends. I always follow whatever I feel most comfortable writing… never concerning myself with a “correct order” or worrying about how things flow until after I’m done. The most important goal is to have a clear story to tell or a clear set of information to convey. I’m always asking myself, “what am I trying to say?”. We need to know the answer to that so we can know when to stop writing!

    The last thing I always look for is the “feel” of the post — what emotions does my piece invoke? Is it confusing? Is it clear? Does it tell a story and leave me feeling like I was part of something? Those are difficult to gauge when we just finished writing, so I often wait at least a few hours (preferably a day) before reading the post and checking for it’s “emotional consistency”.

    Having a post schedule forces us to come up with content even when we don’t have any, or when we’re not feeling in the mood to write (perhaps we’re busy processing a new experience and not ready to share anything). For a blog like mine where I write with a lot of soul and put a lot of my own thought and heart into each post, writing when my heart isn’t there is a recipe for a hollow post. For some blog posts, however, the content isn’t as emotional and that’s not a problem (this post is an example; it’s based on facts and information).

    I’ve found that the most useful habit I’ve formed with regards to writing blog posts, is to always write when I have something in my head that I feel would convey nicely through words. I can always use it later. I’ve had paragraphs sit lonely for weeks, only to find their place in a popular posts.

    Like you mentioned in the post, practice is essential. Like anything else, the more we practice the better we get. Writing is simply the art of arranging words in a fashion that flows, conveys ideas clearly, and tells a story in an entertaining way. I like to think of it has building a roller coaster: if it’s all flat with only a few ups and downs, it will leave us feeling bored. But if we know how to engineer a great ride, people will want to read our content over and over. :)

    • says

      Raam, What a wealth of insight into the writing process and excellent tips as well. I too like to capture my inspiration when it ignites even if just in a paragraph and then let it sit till I’m ready to ride the next wave with it.

      I never considered the two modes of thinking when it comes to writing a blog post. It’s so useful to look at it that way. Now I understand why it is I get bogged sometimes in the second aspect; that’s where fatigue can set in for me. The creativity seems to flow quite easily, I’m never short of ideas and starting points.

      I also really like the idea of using the question, “What am I trying to saying.” That is such a potent way to stay on track! I’m going to give that a try.

      The idea of considering the emotional tone is also a new one for me even though it may seem so obvious.

      You do put your heart and soul into your writing, which makes it so genuine, vibrant, and powerful.

      I can’t thank you enough for offering all this really useful advice for us. You are the best!

  13. says

    Hi Sandra, thanks for the great post.

    I’m on the slow side, and wish I could write a post in 20 minutes! For me, editing often takes way longer than writing – I might have a good idea, free-write about it and have a draft in just 15-20 minutes, but then it takes me a long time to make it into a flowing post.

    I agree with Raam – when I’m stuck I do ask myself “What am I trying to say here?” and once I have clarity it all gets much easier – and quicker! :)

    • says

      Cristina,
      A warm welcome to you. I love this quote from your about page, “That’s what beauty does to me: it brings a ray of light into my world, it brings me joy. It moves me and encourages me to make this world a better place.” The beauty of your site has certainly inspired me.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic at hand. It helps to hear how clarity is a positive impetus for your writing as well. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it.

  14. says

    Sandra,
    Thanks for sharing this advice! As I work to build my blog following and my readership, plus try to get everything that is in my head into digital format, I have to get faster at writing and then preparing the blogpost for publishing. I like to add photos and feel that the format of the post is important as well.
    So on a good day, it might take an hour and a half. On a bad day, when I am fighting with html and it has won several rounds, it might take 2-3 hours. I know that these are different issues from the writing itself, and I am working to educate myself more on code and technique.

    As always, appreciate your insight!
    Bernice http://bernicewood.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/wait-stop-doing-that/

    • says

      Hi Bernice, These are relevant issues too because they affect one’s ability to get to the content! I’m not too fluent on the tech side of blogs myself, so I keep it very simple. Photos and formatting a post are so important and this is precisely what seems to take time for all of us! It seems like you are fairing quite well timewise though! Hope you have more good days and no bad ones.

      By the way, I love your idea of the “not-to-do” list. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it.

  15. says

    Sandra

    I want to apologize for just now making my way to your blog. Well, I’ve visited before. but have never commented. I love what you’ve done with ‘Inuit Types’ and the amount of comments you’re receiving is outstanding! Our blogs are of a similar age. I have changed the way I’m posting i.e. not being so wordy, thousand word posts are useless for myself. I have a difficult enough time trying to get readers as it is so…I spend at least an hour drafting a post, I spend hours scouring my sources. I do a lot of linking out in my posts so 20 minutes for me is ‘mission impossible’ I’ve seen other article about writing 20 minute posts. Your article has been among the most thorough. I will be reading your article time and again applying your strategies. Continued success with your blog. It’s marvelous!

    • says

      Hi there! I’m so happy to connect with you. I was just looking at your blog last night and the helpful blogging tips you provide. I can see you’ve already thought this through yourself by limiting your word count too. Researching and find good links is so important, but it definitely takes time. I got a chuckle from the idea that 20-minute posts are like “mission impossible” ! I’m so glad this article resonated for you. Thanks for your good wishes. I wish you tremendous success as well.

  16. says

    Sandra

    Actually I’m glad to finally connect with you. I’ve followed your comments on Timethiefs site and always found them to be very insightful adding a lot of value. I’ve visited your blog before and love your writing so I thought it was time to leave you a comment. I think you’ve done a great job with your blog. Your writing skills are impeccable. It’s always enjoyable reading. You’re so focused and your posts are so very well done. They are very clear and very well structured. My word count I’m trying to keep down to around 350-450 words. It’s trial and error finding what works and what doesn’t. I’m still learning. I just wanted to tell you how much I admire what you’re doing with your blog. All the best to you!

    • says

      Thanks for your incredibly kind words. I’ve been lucky to have good teachers like timethief and Annabel Candy! I also started tweeting about a month ago and that’s helping to bring people to my blog too. And it’s fun. I’ve connected with some terrific people on Twitter.

      People are busy so keeping an eye on your word count makes sense. Those numbers might work well in the blogging field. As you say, it’s trial and error and you learn by doing that’s for sure. I have a hard time reigning myself in when it comes to word count, but I am working with it.

      Thanks again for taking the time to leave such a nice comment. Wish you great success with your blog.

  17. says

    I love this! It’s so good to know that many bloggers take so long to write, as it feels like I take forever. I see blogs that update everyday, and I simply don’t know how they do it! I do find that my best and fastest writing comes when I’m in the mood and inspired to write the topic of interest. I have yet to force an article, as I find that one of the most painful things in life to do! I always hated writing in school, and look at me now! BTW, I’m in love with your blog and your prose. :)

  18. says

    Amanda,

    What a gorgeous blog you have! I love your choice of color ~ the yellow/gold is not one that you see often in the blog world – so it makes you stand out beautifully. And totally love the spacious white background too.

    It does really help so much to get a reality check, doesn’t it! Otherwise, we think we are the odd girl out. But that’s not the case at all.

    So glad you came by and took time to leave a comment. Nice to get to know you.

  19. says

    Sandra, with the great tips from you and Timethief I’m bound to become a great blogger one day! For the past month I’ve been setting time limits for myself – not just when I’m writing blogs but with other projects as well. I keep reminding myself of the old saying: Work expands to fill the time allotted.

    I think I could complete the writing in 20 minutes but then there are those lovely final touches to get the presentation just so… That’s where my time gets eaten up. Wouldn’t it be a hoot to find out readers don’t care one bit about formatting and pictures and such? I wonder.

    • says

      Hi Susan, You have a terrific blog so I think you are acing the blog thing at the speed of light. It’s good to here what works for you. I think setting time limits is a great tool.

      Oh yes, those final touches! They get us all. I wish it were the case, but I think readers do care about pictures and formatting, at least to a certain degree. They are not necessarily perfectionists like some of us. :)

      Thanks for your comment.

  20. says

    I am a very slow writer considering that I do it professionally. I could write a blog post in 20 minutes if it was very rough, pretty short (600 words or so), and I knew what I wanted to say clearly before I sat down. It’s not unusual for the “pre-writing” part to take an hour. I’m a better editor than a writer, so polishing takes a while for me until I’m happy with it. Now if I have to do research, it’s very possible for a long post to take 8 hours. I’ve been known to struggle with the WordPress poltergeists for 45 minutes to post something if the formatting keeps going wonky and if I keep forgetting things like tags. Like Zeenat, I may have to look at it 10 times. I’m trying to develop a more Zen attitude that it takes as long as it takes, and if it’s not flowing maybe it’s a sign to try again later. :)

  21. says

    Jennifer – I love the idea of developing a “Zen attitude” – it just takes as long as it takes. That’s a wonderful spirit to bring to your writing. While it can be enormously helpful to use techniques to learn to write faster, in the end surrender is always the best way.

    Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your writing process and – eeks! – the WordPress pltergeists. It’s really good to have these reality checks and also to loving accept ourselves with such great humor as you convey!

  22. says

    Thanks for the tips to faster blog posts. Currently I’m spending way to long on posts — fact checking, proofing, inputing links, editing. I keep working to do it faster — but some of the posts that I’ve spent the most time on have received the best readership. I’m going to try setting a time limit and see if I can maintain quality with shorter time investment.

    • says

      Hello Janis,

      You are very welcome! I’m glad you were able to capture an idea from it that might help you out. It’s very useful to know that your time investment in a post pays off in best readership – an important point to bear in mind, for sure. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it! Wishing you well in your travels and your blogging.

  23. says

    Love the balance in this. I personally believe J.D. to be an utter genius and his blog posts are so long and detailed it’s amazing how fast he writes them. Good to hear from some of the other writing pros that 4 hours for a good post is normal. Part of the pleasure for me does come from careful editing, pruning and perfecting but there’s a fine line between that and perfectionism which stops us from delivering stuff on time!

  24. says

    I’m having a nice morning catching up on posts by my favorite blogteurs. This topic is more relevant than ever, now that I have so little time for writing.

    J.D’s tips are good, but I would add that most good writing takes a lifetime to prepare for, no matter how quickly you learn to produce it. The more you’ve LIVED (no matter your age), the more raw material you’ll have for posts.

    I write most of mine (including illustration selection) in an hour or two, however I often take days thinking about them before writing.

    • says

      I’m so delighted to be included in your group of “favorite blogteurs.” :)

      How true it is that life wisdom makes for the best blog posts. The reason I love your blog is that your posts sparkle with insight and humor. No doubt this results from the time you spend on the germination phase.

      So nice to see you. I know you have a busy month ahead and am so pleased you took the time to drop by.

  25. says

    Hi Sandra, I saw the original post on this:) It’s really inspiring and makes me sure that I will get faster at getting my posts out there.

    I do write them fast. But the perfecting and polishing takes 2-6 hours. The there’ s always another hour for formatting, adding links, checking, editing, finding an image and whatever else I’ve forgotten!

    Thanks so much for collating all this and adding your own spin. It’s nice to see that even the pros take a while writing great stuff but we can speed it up.

    I’m definitely going to be aiming to get things out faster!

    • says

      Annabel, It’s great to see how confident you are about getting faster at preparing your posts. I’m sure you will teach us all the tricks once you accomplish your goal. All the best to you!

  26. says

    Thanks for this helpful post. I like how other sources are referenced and contradictions explained. There’s nothing *wrong* with writing for more than 20 minutes :)

    My challenge is figuring out the “right” length for a post since I only blog weekly. I recently started using Windows Live Writer, which shows word count. Before, I didn’t know when to stop since there’s often more to say about a topic. For no particular reason, I now aim for posts of 500 words (the draft may be longer). I can probably get faster by reducing the target to 400 words or less.

    PS I do rough outlines using pen and 5×8″ lined paper. It’s easy to fill one side, single-spaced in minutes when ideas flow. When I have most of the back filled, I feel I have enough for a post.

    • says

      Hello Promod,

      It really helps to work with a program that shows you the word count. Thanks for mentioning that tip. I think rough outlines are a great tool too. The best post length can be a mystery! It probably depends on your readers and niche to some extent. 500 words is a good length to capture the attention of busy people. But some bloggers who blog once a week chose to write longer posts. I think time and experience will tell what’s best for you.

      Thanks so much for you comment.

  27. says

    If it’s a post that’s “meant” to be written . . . it practically writes itself.

    When I feel like I’m trying to wrestle my thoughts into submission, I leave it in draft form and move on to something else entirely ~ because the Universe is telling me to put that thought on “hold.” ;)

    Yes. I have a lot of drafts waiting to see the light of day. :)

    • says

      You are such a prolific blogger, which is a testimony to the wisdom of your approach! I am amazed by the number of meaningful posts you have written this year. It’s always great to have a stash of drafts for rainy days. Thanks for sharing your method.

  28. says

    Wow. J.D tips is amazing. I think I could use it too. i’m not really faster in writing my blog post I think it takes how many hours to do it completely(with polishing). Thanks for sharing it with us Sandra. I maybe use your hint to us.Great article!!

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